Families move into new council homes in Caister, Martham and Bradwell

Paula Bastin and daughter Charleigh, 10, are among the tenants to move into a new council home in B

Paula Bastin and daughter Charleigh, 10, are among the tenants to move into a new council home in Bradwell. Their home is among 12 that are the first to have been built in the Yarmouth borough for 20 years. Picture: supplied - Credit: Archant

A group of happy families are moving into the borough's latest council homes just in time for Christmas.

The 12 properties, which have been built in Caister, Martham and Bradwell, are the first new council homes to go up in the borough for 20 years.

All the homes were built to an energy-saving Passivhaus design, aimed at cutting energy bills and carbon emissions, and were constructed as in-fill developments on three existing estates.

The £1.35m housing project attracted national interest after communities secretary Eric Pickles visited the Caister site in January and urged other councils to 'follow Great Yarmouth's lead'.

The final two semi-detached houses in Bradwell were completed in October, following five each being built in Charles Close, Caister and Grove Close, Martham, which were completed earlier this year.

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In Bradwell the two-bedroom houses in Kingfisher Close are aimed at families. New tenant Paula Bastin recently moved into one with her 10-year-old daughter Charleigh, after living in a standard flat in Gorleston.

She said: 'It's been absolutely marvellous. Even though it's getting much colder now, I rarely turn the heating on at all. I only use it for about half an hour at night.

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'The heat generated by cooking and using hot water keeps us warm. I haven't yet had an energy bill but I expect to make significant savings, which will help a great deal.'

The Martham site has five new bungalows, specially designed for tenants with disabilities and for older tenants, to help them remain independent for longer.

Ceilings have been built to take hoisting between the bedroom and the bathroom, and the facilities in the bathroom and kitchen have been installed to meet the specific needs of the first tenants.

Penny Linden, borough council cabinet member for communities, said: 'With the weather now much colder, these tenants will really notice the benefit of this pioneering construction method in their reduced energy bills, as the homes trap heat generated by the occupants' bodies and appliances about the house.

'These are the first council homes built in the borough for 20 years, but there should be more to come, as the council is actively considering further sites for development to further meet continuing demand for homes.'

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